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Day 1 - 13th Feb

 Alex’s Birthday! The day started with croissants for breaky with Tash & Luke followed by birthday slice.  Time to leave home and saying goodbye to Luke was hard.  Tash drove us to Gold Coast airport where we were too early and had to wait 30 mins to check in to our flight.  We had a wonderful Jetstar lady assist us and upon realising it was Alex’s birthday today blocked out the 3rd seat next to us. This gave us 3 seats to spread out.  Alex was rapt. It was then a 3 hour and several coffees wait for our flight to depart.

 After a short time in the air lunch was served and we were lucky to have that included in our tickets - so Chicken Parma with wedges it was. And another coffee for Alex.

 As we now had a window seat we spotted Bribie Island and the Sunshine Coast as we headed north.  Further on we flew over hundreds of coral reefs off shore the Rockhampton & Mackay areas. Very spectacular!  Our flight path took us over Port Moresby but cloud cover prevented us seeing too much of PNG. We continued over the Bismark Sea, crossed the equator into the Northern Hemisphere, and flew over Guam. We watched a movie for a couple of hours and had forty winks. By now the novelty of the flight had worn off and we were looking forward to Tokyo - still 4 hours away!

 Another movie and finally we are landing in Tokyo. After an announcement that’s it’s currently 6 degrees we don jackets and enter the terminal.  Luggage retrieval and entry formalities over we organise train tickets and JR Pass and catch an 8pm train to Nippori.  On arrival, it was only a  10min walk to our apartment - 2 small rooms, an even smaller kitchenette and an ensuite which we need to turn sideways to get into. Bedding is a mat on the floor.  This is someone’s home!  We are so lucky in Australia - our house is huge.  Although it’s Alex’s 50th birthday today, we are tired and decide to forgo dinner and more unusual, beer!   Showers and into bed.


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